Monday, December 12, 2011

A Night with Australian Animals

Yes, that is a wallaby hopping past our patio door!

After our first day on the Great Ocean Road, my family and I stayed at Fauna Australia Wildlife Retreat for the night. We were in the Kangaroo Family Unit, which wasn't extremely luxurious, but we were there for the wildlife experience. And we got it! This place has Australian animals all over its grounds, and the owners even leave you a bag of carrots, encouraging you to feed them and get up close and personal with them. So we did!

Wombats look like a mix between pigs and koalas!

Wallaby and baby
There were wombats, emus, wallabies, various birds, potoroos, etc. Most of the animals were in enclosures, but several wallabies roamed free and hopped all over the place! By the way, a wallaby is basically a smaller version of a kangaroo. There are other differences, but you can Google it if you care.

Morgan's a little scared of the hungry emus!
After dark, we went outside again and saw all of the nocturnal animals come to life. Sugar gliders were jumping, koalas were climbing up and down trees, bandicoots were running around, etc. We left a carrot on our porch, and it was gone in the early morning. The wallabies chased each other in loops that passed by our patio door while we ate breakfast.

Picture perfect koala!

And a little more wildlife commentary from Morgan…Later in the morning we got a chance to have some time with the koalas, which were extraordinarily tame, and anticipated the food of their caretaker by coming to the gate like little dogs.  They were all around us, not afraid to come right up and grab the eucalyptus from our hands.  One even bit me!  These koalas were brought from Kangaroo Island, where there is an overpopulation problem, and have been raised and bred in captivity so they can be used for educational purposes at schools, programs, etc.  It was fun to have everyone surrounded by friendly koalas!

Aubree here again...Morgan had been having all the fun holding and petting koalas up until this point in the trip, so it was fun for the rest of us to get the chance to pet the furry friends. They were so funny, climbing up the trees, running around on the ground, and eating the leaves we gave them. The picture below cracks me up; my mom was a little freaked out when Banjo the koala made a sudden move for her branch!

It's just a koala, Mom!
A cute one of Morgan and a koala.
If you're looking for somewhere to stay along the Great Ocean Road, Fauna Australia Wildlife Retreat is good fun. Don't expect anything fancy, but do expect to see lots of awesome Australian animals!

My new Facebook profile picture!

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